Morgan Panzirer, an active student on the University’s campus, is an accomplished biology major with plans to attend medical school for pediatric endocrinology after she graduates. On June 9, she released her new book “Actually I Can,” which shares her experience living with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) since her diagnosis at the age of six.
T1D is an autoimmune disease, in which the body attacks and kills its own insulin-producing cells. It affects more than 1.6 million people in the United States, and there is currently no cure.
This was Panzirer’s first time writing and publishing a book. She began writing it in seventh grade and wrote on-and-off for years, before amping up progress in her senior year of high school and finding a publisher (Type 1 Media) in November of 2019. Panzirer was inspired to write in response to all of the misconceptions she heard about T1D growing up. She often heard people making the false claim that diabetes is a disease caused by eating too much sugar; she wanted to confront all the inaccurate statements, so she made her voice heard.
The title of her book represents an answer to many questions Panzirer would always receive about the condition.
“Growing up people would always look at me and say something along the lines of, ‘Oh that stinks that you can't eat that piece of cake,’ and my response to them would be, ‘Actually, I can,’” Panzirer said.
While this may be Panzirer’s first book, this is not her first involvement in diabetes advocacy. In 2009, she attended Children’s Congress, an event that brings children, with T1D and from each state, to Washington D.C. to speak with their state’s senators and lobby for research funding. Panzirer has also spoken at events around the world, including the Stem for Life Conference in Vatican City, and she has met with leaders like Pope Francis and former President Barack Obama.
Panzirer hopes that her book can serve as an inspiration to many.
“This book will help people living with T1D understand that this disease does not have to control their life if they don't want it to, and they can do anything they set their minds to no matter how difficult it may seem at first,” Panzirer said. “Likewise, people without T1D can learn that any obstacle in life can be turned into an opportunity if you just view it from a different angle.”
The paperback and Kindle versions of “Actually I Can” are now available for purchase on Amazon.